A New Blueprint

Developer Larry Silverstein has made peace with the politicians. Will the rebuilding of ground zero finally become a reality?

On a cool day last September, developer Larry Silverstein walked proudly through the lobby of 7 World Trade Center, the first of six skyscrapers planned for ground zero. He ticked off a few of the building's amenities--a lobby wall featuring computerized art; a sprinkler system with twice the capacity required by code--then made his pitch: "It is going to be the safest office building in America."

Silverstein has managed to convert that claim into exactly three tenants. Despite a strong advertising push that kicked off early this year, less than 20% of 7 World Trade Center's 1.7 million sq. ft. are...

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